"She made me a happier and better person," Carlos Morales tells PEOPLE about his relationship with his late wife Erica
It was 2006 and Carlos was just 22-years-old. “I knew I had to talk to her,” he tells PEOPLE. “I walked right up to her and asked her in Spanish if she wanted to dance.”
Carlos, who had recently moved to Phoenix from the Dominican Republic, didn’t speak English, and Erica, from Phoenix, didn’t know a word of Spanish.
“We somehow communicated and danced all night,” he says. “Every time a song ended, she was willing to dance with me to the next one.”
Carlos remembers this night and thinks about it often because on Jan. 16, Erica, 36, who ended up becoming his wife, died after giving birth to their quadruplets.
“At the end, you start to think a lot about the beginning,” Carlos, 29, says.
The Early Years
Only a week after they met, Erica, who was 29 at the time, called her mother Sondra Bridges and told her she had to meet him.
“I was hesitant because she had kissed quite a few frogs and I had no reason to think Carlos would be ‘the One.'”
But when they did meet, Sondra knew right away that her daughter was meant to be with Carlos. “The way they looked at each other and happy they made each other,” she tells PEOPLE. “You could tell it was rare and special.”
They spent all of their time together, they met each others friends, and they helped teach each other their native languages. “She would leave Post-it notes around the house with reminders of how to spell and say things in English,” he says.
They were dedicated to each other from day one. “Our relationship only grew stronger and more fun,” Carlos says. “Having fun was important. We were always happy.
“I knew I wanted to marry her. So in 2007, I bought a suit, she bought and dress and we drove to Las Vegas to get married.”
Erica made it clear from the beginning that she wanted children. They started trying about two years later but she suffered a miscarriage after undergoing fertility treatment.
“It was so devastating but it actually brought us even closer together,” Carlos says while tearing up. “We were there for each other.”
It was then last June that the couple found out she was pregnant with not one, but four babies.
“The thought that we were going to have quadruplets was the most exciting thought in the world,” says Carlos. “A little overwhelming, but amazing.”
Now that Carlos is on his own, the thoughts of his years with Erica helps get him through every moment with his babies.
“Erica was supposed to be here for all of this. This plan involved her,” he says. “But knowing that I experienced such true love will always bring a smile to my face.”
A friend has set up a GoFundMe site for Carlos and the babies. To donate, click here.
Watch PEOPLE Writer Caitlin Keating Talk about The Quadruplet Story
Watch Carlos Morales Talk about Finding Hope After Tragedy
Watch Erica’s Mother Sondra Bridges Talk about Their Personal Story
Watch A Day in The Life of The Quadruplet Dad
For more on Carlos’s Amazing Story:
• PEOPLE Reporter Reflects on Her Week with Quadruplet Dad Carlos Morales and His Newborns.
• Quadruplets’ Grandmother Sondra Bridges Helps New Dad Carlos Morales
• Dad Cares for Quadruplets After Wife’s Tragic Death in Childbirth